SELF DETERMINATION MUSIC!
Ann Arbor Community Parks Program
"The politics of the free concert movement were simple: self determination (we will decide what we need and how we will obtain it for ourselves) and self-reliance (we will provide for our own needs and fight for our right to do so). The city was trying to say that people in our community didn't need the free concerts, that we wouldn't be allowed to have the free concerts, and that we would be arrested for even trying to make our music happen for free in the parks." John Sinclair
We've come a long way with the park program since the conditions in the above statement were historically true. Issues #33 and 34 of the Sun contain a two-part history of the Park Program which goes back to 1967 by John S. which are still available. But the point is, we won out with the city and forced them to recognize our new emerging culture as a viable part of the community that would not be snuffed by a few city ordinances and attitudes The Park Program is a killer example of self-determination and self-reliance for rainbow people every Sunday afternoon. The level of organization gets higher all the time, as does the level of problems involved, but we prove over and over that we are a new people with new ways of dealing with the old problems left to us by honk culture. The Park Program is intimately bound to a number of other things developing in the community, for example the People's Ballroom and the Tribal Council People's Committees like the People's Food Committee which is helping provide the food each week; hopefully the Park can be a hooking up point for people who feel it's time to start participating consciously instead of merely de facto in the development of a new community of people in Ann Arbor.
There are a whole lot of aspects of the Park Program that make it such a killer thing every week. This year the music is much better than last year as far as mixing well-known with brand new bands, so that people are up on their feet and dancing and really diggin it. The PA system by Vulcan Sound is amazing. Rangers have had experience with organizing the stage now too so the whole music thing runs pretty smoothly. The speaking between music needs still more organization, but that is happening as everything else gets more together. We're trying to make sure that information gets out about drugs and related problems and things are at in the park, as well as allowing time for community speakers to talk about what's happening and to announce anything that has to be communicated at the moment. This whole aspect is progressing rapidly with the killer new development this year of live broadcasting over WNRZ-FM every Sunday from now on! This is being organized by the People's Communications Committee of the Tribal Council and promises to develop into one of the most together community programming for radio in the whole country! If it happens that a whole concert is rained out there will still be a People's Communications Committee show for people to relate to and hear the news of the week and killer jams and interviews, etc.
Perhaps one of the clearest examples of self-determination is the development of the Psychedelic Rangers. Back around 1969 it looked sometimes like there were more police than people at the Park and it couldn't go on like that. After the South University Street riots in 1969 there were many hours of negotiations and serious contemplation trying to figure out how to deal with the problems facing us. Now we have a group of about 60 Psychedelic Rangers that work every week outside and inside the Park to be dealing with all the problems the police would have had to blunder about and try to deal with. Outside the Park the Rangers deal with traffic control, parking and like that, and inside our main concern has been to be around to help anyone with cut feet or heat stroke or drug related freak outs or sicknesses. We've been pretty successful over the years in seeking out the bogus dope dealers in the crowd who deal downed out control drugs like heroin, PCP, Quaalude and so-called THC (which is never THC)- we make it as clear as possible that we want people to get high and dance and have a good time and that we consider downed-out drugs to be a direct threat to our community that we won't tolerate. The second part of this article is all about the Drug Help tent and the things they want to tell you about. We're doing our best to develop a bunch of Rangers that aren't on any kind of authority trip at all, but are very much into coming up with new ways to deal with the old problems and are just young freaks like most everyone else in the Park. We have weekly meetings with a core group of people where we study first-aid and drug help and talk together about what we're doing. We are expanding by having workshops all during the day on Sunday involving small groups of Rangers from outside the park as well as anyone in the crowd who wants to. Anyone interested can come to the Park 11:30 am any Sunday morning. We have to thank the Citizens' Band Radio people here for making their time and equipment available to us to facilitate the Communications between Rangers way out on the road or parking lots and inside the Park they were there all last year too. And it sure does help out.
There are only a couple more things to mention. Every week the Rangers participate in a bucket drive to raise the money needed to do the whole thing. We never have enough money to do all the groovy things we would dig to do to make it a totally outta sight program -but we have to have at least enough to pay for the portable toilets and to give the Rangers money (outside Rangers get $5 and inside Rangers get $3 every Sunday), initial money is put out for the food and we buy batteries for the communications radios, and there are always other expenses. We don't have to pay for a polluting gas generator any more since electricity running in there was a must and has been run in on power lines- the Blues and Jazz Festival will be at the same site this year and will need it too anyway.
There are a couple of problems that we have to have to keep asking people to help us with. For example, the garbage is atrocious. Especially cigarette butts and aluminum ring tops are rapidly forming a cart that only WE can prevent. There is poison ivy in the woods. People have to keep off the scaffolding so the people running the PA can do it with minimum problems and worries. Please don't shoot off fireworks in the woods or any where It's a drag for so many people to hear sounds like that when for example one year we had a situation where someone got shot.
The last thing I want to say is that Otis Spann Memorial Field is our park for this year and suggestions have come forth that we build a children's playground out of donated equipment and whatever stuff we can get. But what we've got to do is get a sense of our park and start keeping it clean and together as we can. It IS reliance and self-determination we are trying to build in the rainbow community and it all starts when we do it. The following article is a good example of what we're talking about.
"I don't need no doctor, 'cause I know what's ailing me." -Humble Pie
There are very few people who are able to make that statement. It's unfortunate, but true, that few of us really know how to take care of ourselves, medically. All too often, we look to those "magical" few who know enough about medicine and first aid for help.
In a community like ours, it seems crucial that we learn how to take care of ourselves-that means learning how to keep ourselves healthy and how to help our brothers and sisters do the same.
Every Sunday, there are concerts out at Otis Spann Memorial Field. Right there, for the four hours the concerts go on, we are a community united. If we can't take care of ourselves for four hours while we're all together, we can't expect to be able to take care of ourselves at other times as a functioning, widespread community. And we aren't taking care of ourselves at these concerts medically. Each week, many people need help from the Medical Tent and I assume this is because many people just don't have any background in first aid. So, briefly, I'd like to explain some health oriented things relevant to the Sunday concerts in the hope that we can start looking out for one another, and so that no one hurts themselves purely out of ignorance.
Heat & Sun-There is little shade out at Otis Spann Field, and on a hot day there's usually a lot of problems. The two big problems are: Heat exhaustion-Here, a person sweats excessively and loses the natural balance of salt and water in the body. The person feels faint and weak; the skin feels cold, clammy and is pale. Treat this by having the person lie down in the shade and relax. Give salt pills and water.
Heat stroke-Here, the person doesn't sweat enough and the body temperature climbs excessively (i.e. often to 106 degrees or more normal is 98.6). The person is faint, nauseous and has a high pulse; the skin is dry and hot. This is dangerous. Bring the person's temperature down fast by lying her/him in the shade and dowsing with water. Get someone from the Medical tent to check the person out more fully.
Alcohol & Drugs As should be obvious, heat alone can weaken and down out a person greatly. And things like Quaalude or alcohol also are downs. June 18 was the only real hot Sunday concert so far, and the Medical Tent saw a number of people carried in who had too much sun and drug. If you're going to get high, moderate the amount according to the temperature-the hotter the day, the less it'll take to get you off.
If someone seems to be staggering around the park due to too much sun/drug, lie them down in the shade make sure their breathing is normal (about 16 breaths per minute) and get someone from the Medical tent to take a quick look if you're not sure the person is okay. And if someone has been "sleeping" next to you for a while at the park, make sure they are just sleeping and not unconscious. Check breathing and try to wake her/him up. If you can't, get help fast.
There's a lot that can be said about the drugs goiing around at the concerts. Some of them are of good quality and some are not. One of them which should be avoided is THC. The synthesis of THC is the most complex and expensive of all the psychedelics. And to keep it from degrading, it must be kept at -19 degrees. These are chemical facts, and to get real THC on the streets is impossible. Usually what you get is acid cut with PCP (an animal tranquilizer). Both at the Faces/Badfinger concert and the summer concerts. there have been numerous cases of people who thought they took THC only to find out they took a pretty unpleasant tranquilizer(PCP). Please believe this-there is no THC in Ann Arbor.
The only other drug related point involves mixing alcohol with practically any drug. Alcohol does not mix well with downs or with speed. Alcohol seems to potentiate (multiply) the effect of other drugs mixed with it. Respiratory depression is often the outcome. And since many of the drugs which do mix with alcohol (e.g. acid) are cut with things like PCP or speed, alcohol should be avoided then as well. A general rule would be don't mix anything (except possibly grass) with alcohol.
Cuts-After a long day of dancing and drinking beer or wine, a person tends to forget things like empty bottles and the metal tops to cans. But the glass and metal left around is responsible for a lot of cut feet. If you're into drinking, throw the bottles and cans in the garbage for your brothers' and sister' sake.
And if you should get cut, get treated at the Med. tent. It's real easy to pick up infections at the Park and it's no hassle to get the cut cleaned out.
All of this is basic medical information which can be of help out at the concerts. What's more important is that we all look out for one another-at the concerts, on the streets-cause (being a brother or sister is the best help you can give.
MEDICAL FACILITIES SUMMER PARKS PROGRAM
Brother Steve McConnaughey from Iron Horse Exchange rock & rolls with the people at the park.
Lyman Woodard of the 8th Day
Tony Newton from the 8th Day carrying on. It was the first time most of us have had the chance to get high with 8th Day. Welcome!